Traveling in Netherlands is indeed expensive, but it’s worth it.
You have been warned that you need to spend some money in Netherlands, especially in Amsterdam, since their cost of living is relatively high compared to other European countries.
On the other hand, why worry in spending much if you can have one of the best days of your life here? Here are some of my recommended activities in Amsterdam!
Ride a Bike
Once you set foot in the city, you will be surprised that bicycles dominate their modes of transportation. For us, we’ve tried tandem bike. The person who will be riding in front should definitely control the direction and balance, while the other person will just support peddling at the back. I can say that it can also be considered as a good partner activity, since it will really develop good communication (since the one in front should say when to stop so that the other can stop peddling) and trust.
It pays literally to look left or right before you cross the street. You also need to be aware that there are bike lanes, tram rails as well as pedestrian lanes so be mindful of these demarcations to avoid accidents.
To have a safe and definitely relaxing bike ride, go to Vondelpark near Rijksmuseum. Or if you also want a different kind of biking experience try Canal Bike!
Well, Amsterdam’s Stroop waffles, Apple Strudel with Cream and Dutch fries are really worth a try. If you are looking for some other dishes, you may also opt to eat affordable Asian dishes in Yu Family Kitchen. For alcohol lovers, Dutch Beers should be on your list. I find it refreshing and there’s a balance of sweetness and bitterness (well, it still depends on what kind of beer you order).
Here’s a major tip! Usually, normal meals in Amsterdam range from 8 to 10 Euros. But don’t worry, you can still find affordable meals by just spending your precious 1 Euro. Where is it? It’s in HEMA, a one-stop shop which can be found on Nieuwendijk 174-176. The mall opens at 9am and their 1 Euro breakfast is available until 10am. For the 1 Euro snack, it’s usually available starting 4pm.
Visit their Museums
I love how Amsterdam embraces art and their rich cultural history. Various artworks from renowned artists like Rembrandt and Van Gogh can be seen in Rijksmuseum. They also have free app which you can access through the museum’s wifi connection. Using the app, you can hear additional details about different artworks inside the museum. One trend that I noticed among all the artworks by Dutch artists is that they mainly focus on themes about their daily lives. As a normal museum visitor, I find it relatable and easy to understand. You can also find a cozy library where you can read books inside the museum.
We also visited two unusual museums that may not be common in other countries. Visiting The Hash Marihuana and Hemp Museum is really an eye opener, because through their free audio guide, I better understand the pros and cons of legalizing and using Marihuana. Second, the Sex Museum provides a collection of various materials which were forbidden to see back when we were just minors. I think they can still improve the museum using modern technology such as videos, audio guides etc.
Stop and Smell the Flowers
If you are in Netherlands during the period between March to May, please visit Keukenhof. Not just for nature lovers, I find the park very relaxing and a perfect place to rejuvenate and unwind. Though, if you want to see all flowers in full bloom, then I think it’s good to visit at the end of April or first week of May.
Take a peek in Amsterdam by Night
Dubbed as the “sin city”, Amsterdam offers unwavering freedom to its tourists. The Red Light District is somehow famous for its window prostitutes. All day and night, people can also buy Marijuana (joint, space cakes etc) in coffee shops. Though, it’s still up to the tourists to be responsible while enjoying these “sorts of freedom”.
Where to stay?
Eat, Play and Sleep in The Student Hotel. They really have friendly staff so if you have any questions, they will be very happy to help you. Their Kitchen offers various meals from breakfast to dinner. If you want to unwind after a busy tour, then you can also play table tennis or billiards here. Your money is definitely worth the comfort that you’ll be experiencing here.
Don’t forget to visit other tourist attractions!